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Storm Doris hits the woods

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Posted: Thursday 13th April 2017 by Bernwood Project

Finemere Wood volunteersThe Finemere Wood volunteers repair the storm damage. Photos by Charlotte Karmali

Charlotte Karmali and the Finemere Wood volunteers repair the damage caused by Storm Doris

Charlotte KarmaliWritten by Charlotte Karmali

Volunteer Warden at Finemere Wood, Bucks



Storm Doris left her mark on Finemere Wood and the volunteers gathered in her wake. The powerful gales had left many of the guards protecting the new trees teetering on the edge, leaving the delicate saplings open to predation.

And so the challenge was set: with limited resources, the guards must be secured more effectively. Today was about brains rather than brawn. A handful of canes, some cable ties, a few spare tree guards and off the team went. I watched, marvelling at the ingenuity and creativity of this remarkable group of people.

Finemere Wood in spring, is full of delights. Every visit reveals a new wonder. And although the same cycle of life occurs year on year, it never ceases to amaze me. Our work was accompanied by much birdsong, amongst them a distinctive and easily recognisable, “chiff-chaff chiff-chaff chiff-chaff”.


The chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita): named for its simple song; small and olive-brown; a warbler and an insectivore; picking insects from trees and catching them in flight. This songbird will eat an impressive one third of its weight in insects a day.

Most birds arrive late in March, from the Mediterranean and West Africa. In August and September they will travel these incredible distances once again, back to warmer climates. A few resident populations can be found in in the southern counties. A deciduous woodland, such as Finemere, where there is plenty of cover is an ideal habitat for them.

One thousand saplings were checked and secured. It was gratifying to discover that the large majority were thriving. The future looks bright for this newly planted area of the wood, where many species, including the chiffchaff, will reap great benefits.

Come and join us in this biodiverse haven

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